tv Newsmakers CSPAN March 27, 2011 10:00am-10:30am EDT
-- has been that chosen to run for president in the new land my father came to love. our faith that we can shape a better future is what the american dream is all about. the promise of our country is that the rules are fair. if you work hard and play by the rules you can earn your share of the american blessing. those are the beliefs i learned from my parents and those are the values i taught my students as a teacher in the public schools of new york city. host: geraldine ferraro passed away yesterday at the age of 75. "politico" has one of as many photographs selected by the democratic nominee walter mondale.
tomorrow on "washington journal" will focus on the developing story in libya. joining us -- mike baker will give us his perspective on the u.s. involvement in libya and what it means with regards to the cia. also flood insurance. some of the issues and topics on "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m.. thank you for being with us on sunday morning. enjoy the rest of your weekend and i hope you have a great week ahead. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> next "newsmakers "with cecile richards from planned parenthood. then senate majority leader trent lott discuss senate reform. after that, new york congressman anthony wiener talks about the health care law. >> this week we are joined by cecile richards, the president of the plan pater -- km federation here to talk about what could be a debate next week when congress returns. this debate between republicans and democrats over whether or not there should be federal funding for planned parenthood. walk us through from your perspective what this is about for you guys. >> it began during the budget debates on the house side where the new house leadership instead
of focusing on jobs and the economy and the issues that american voters are very concerned about took it as a chance to repeal all access to family planning in this country and to go after planned parenthood. we are the largest family planning provider in america. what we saw was that women's health care is being treated as a political issue and that has us concerned. many of the one in five women who have been to planned parenthood and folks are seeing this as having nothing to do with the budget or the deficit. it has to do with a political vendetta against women's health care. >> we are joined by two reporters. one is with roll call. go ahead with your question. >> hall -- what do you describe the funding askm of planned
parenthood with the stress of the budget deficit and the federal funds that are going to planned parenthood? how you justify given the state of the economy which may be in recovery and the things that lawmakers have to choose from in terms of what we can afford in kent, how'd you justify spending on plant parroted? >> that is a great question. what is important to remember is what the house leadership did was that they singled out planned parenthood and said they could not provide health care services under the federal program. by singling out planned parenthood, they did not save a dime of the budget for the deficit. these services continue to go on. they are saying that the largest provider of these services can no longer provide them. for my physical point of view which is very important we are
the largest family planning provider and the most cost- effective. even though we see more than 1/3 of the family planning peasants in america, we do it for much less cost with high-quality care that is very affordable. i think it is important to distinguish the real budget issues from the political move that the house made singling out planned parenthood. it is important to remember, too, that the services we provide through the federal programs are family planning, cancer screenings, prenatal care basic preventive care. if you look at the other side of this from the fiscal issue family planning over all is one of the best investments that the government makes. for every dollar that the government invests in family- planning taxpayers save three- $4 with other costs that would be related to having more unintended pregnancy, cancers that were undetected early and those kind of issues. from a fiscal point of view, it
makes more sense to invest in family planning and basic preventive screenings for cancer because it is good for women's health. it is good for the tax payer. >> we should put on the table how much money we are talking about. come much money do you get from the federal government? >> we got more than 800 health centers in 49 states in america. the federal government pays upwards of $300 million for basic preventive care that we provide is important to remember that this is not money where we get a big check from the federal government. we will -- we work like a hospital and hospitals get reimbursed for services we provide. for every pat smear for every birth control exam, for all the pre-natal care and the basic family planning visits. in many of these states, planned parenthood competes with other providers. the reason that state governments choose planned parenthood as a provider is
because we're the most cost- effective provider of high- quality women's health care in the country. >> the issue of abortion is part of this. can you talk about that and the funding for that? >> there has been a lot of misleading information that has been thrown around. for more than 30 years the federal government has not spend federal money to pay for abortion services. this is not about abortion at all. all the repeals that the house made with only impact family- planning birth control and basic cancer screening and prenatal care. that is very important to remember that these are strict guidelines. the height amendment has been around for a long time. that is true for planned parenthood and hospitals across america who provide a full range of reproductive health care. no federal dollars except in the most extreme cases pay for abortion services. >> viewers it should also know
about your budget, $1.10 billion? >> that is correct. we are the largest non-profit provider of women's health care in america. we see 3 million patients per year. we do it in an incredibly cost- effective way. at this point we prevent more than 600,000 unintended pregnancies each year in america by providing family planning. 2.5 million women and men came to plymouth planning for us. we did about 830,000 breast exams and more than 1 million pap smears. in many parts of the country that we have heard from many women in many parts of the country, planned parenthood is the only provider of basic women's health care. we have 72% of our health centers are in rural america or in medically underserved communities. we are vital to millions of
women and men and families. >> we are in an era in washington where there is a phenomenal debate going on over the scope of government. $300 million for family planning may not be a grand amount of money in the scope of $3 trillion federal budget but why should the federal government be in the business of paying for these kind of services? why is that something that should be the role of the federal government? >> it has been for more than 40 years. when this move was made by the house leadership which took many folks by surprise because it was such a dramatic move eliminating all family planning in this country. more than 5 million women get family-planning each year through the federal family planning program. this was signed into law by richard nixon more than 40 years ago. folks recognize that making sure
that wittman had access to basic health care, family planning services and other preventive care was good for women and was good for the community and good for the economy. one of the things that i think is important to remember is that through the family planning program, most women particularly women -- women take care of their kids' first or think about others but they don't really look at their own health care issues. women need birth control. it is most common form of health care in this country. many women will come to planned parenthood or to another health- care provider for family planning. the good news is that women who come in for family-planning can then get a pap smear or breast exam or basic preventive care that they might put off otherwise. this is some of the most important health care that we need to invest in in this country. oncologist will tell you they can do a better job of treating
a woman for cervical cancer or breast cancer if we can catch it early. there have been a lot of patients we have heard from since this move has been made from the house. carolyn smiothers wrote that her cervical cancer was detected at an early age. she now has two daughters in her 20's and they are planned parenthood patients. at a time when she did not have health insurance and could not afford the medical care, planned parenthood helped her take care of something that without having gone there might mean i would not be here today. >> can you talk to us about what you are doing on bay hill right now -- on the hill right now? what the repercussions for members of congress who voted to eliminate your fund? will they be facing you in the
2012 elections? >> the way i look at repealing both at family-planning -- this is enormous for health care for women. we need more but for folks who want to reduce unintended pregnancy and teen pregnancy and the abortion rate, we need to have more family planning. this is an issue that is universally supported and has huge political repercussions. we have heard since the house took the vote, we have heard from more than 800,000 women and many men who are concerned about this. they are republicans democrats independents, they are voters of every stripe. what this move showed them was that the house is really putting a political agenda ahead of women's health care. i think that is very dangerous. i have been heartened to see
that now that the issue is in the senate and there has been discussion to see not only democratic members of the senate but also republican members of the senate come out and say that this is basic health care. we need to have family planning. we need to have cancer screenings and planned parenthood plays a vital role. the statement from senator alisa murkowski from alaska -- look at the areas of alaska -- planned our it might be the only family planning provider there. senator murkowski was very eloquent and talking about the need to make sure that women's health care that we don't lose the access that women currently have and that would be the result of this. >> what is the strategy on the hill for winning this? will the members to vote against this be facing up? >> we are educating folks around the country about how people voted on repealing family
planning and going after planned parenthood. it is an issue because uniformly, in all the independent polling we have seen "the wall street journal" paul was quite specific, there is overwhelming support for planned parenthood and family planning in this country. folks who oppose this basic health care service, i don't think it is good politics for them. more than 60% of women of child- bearing age strong the opposed repealing family planning access and america. in the senate, we have been working with all the senators to educate them about the vital health care services that planned parenthood provides and their state and in their community. we have been very heartened by the response. once all the political sturmk und drang dissipates, we have
been hearing that the last thing we need to do in the midst of this recovery when women are facing very, very tough times is to take away access for preventive health care. >> we have seen a little bit of the cooling of the social issue wars since the economy has taken center stage. looking ahead to the next election how much do you see this being part of a renewed interest in these types of social issues especially looking ahead to the 2012 presidential election? are you working with the presidential candidates? how much are you trying to lobby them? >> it will be interesting. it is a long time away. we are focused right now on getting the budget passed and making sure that we do everything we can to preserve
family planning services preventive care services for women and men and towns across america. i really do think that the house totally has misread where the american people are. i think that will spill over into the 2012 elections. no matter what poll you look that, when the november elections took place and there was this overwhelming sweep in congress, it was not about social issues. this is about folks' legitimate anxiety that the economic future for them and their kids and whether they will find a job or whether they can get health care coverage. this focus by the house leadership is in extreme about going after women's health care. it is discorded. the administration has been very supportive of women's health care. the new affordable care acting getting more preventive care to
women has been a high priority. this absolutely will be an issue as we get toward the election. it is important for us to make sure that republicans and democrats stand for women's health care and particularly women's preventive care. >> can you explicitly say that there are ramifications from your organization, not from voters from planned parenthood that there are ramifications for voting against funding for your organization? >> we take a much broader look. i want to stress the important point that was asked earlier. what they have done, what the house leadership did has nothing to do with funding. it had nothing to do with the budget or the deficit. it literally simply said that we will say now that planned parenthood can no longer provide preventive care through any federal program. again, that was a direct political swipe at us. >> there is $600 million as part
of that, right? >> all they said was that planned parenthood, but not that they would not provide the services but that planned parenthood cannot provide them. >> they said you cannot provide them with federal money? >> yes through federal programs. >> that means you have to go elsewhere for money. >> do you get still get the three of the million-dollar is? >> it the health leadership had their way planned parenthood wouldn't be able to provide services through federal programs that doesn't that mean that the government saves $300 million? >> no, because they will have to find those services somewhere else. we have looked at this from a taxpayer point of view because it is important that you say they will end up having to spend it and we but that is your point of view. they can say we got rid of $300 million.
they may have to spend it somewhere else or in their view they may not. >> if you look at the record they are exactly saying that. they said they want to get rid of planned parenthood and women go elsewhere for services. they are not saying it to save money. these are women that are still eligible for the federal government >> through medicaid? >> for medicaid and title 10. this is an important point and that is why i we are focused on this. it is important to realize that what they did come the mike pense amendment said we will not allow planned parenthood to provide prenatal care, family planning, cancer screening std testing for any federal program. folks that are coming to planned parenthood are still eligible. the irony is that when you do the arithmetic, to replace the
services because we are the most cost-effective provider of family planning, we get less money to provide more care than any other provider -- to replace those services because unless they are going to limit the federal program completely, to replace those, if that will cost an additional $200 million at a minimum if they can find another provider. if you do the math, this fiscally does not do anything for the deficit it will end up costing the taxpayers more money to provide the same services summer alabama what about the fact that you are a political organization? >> the government will spend the same money elsewhere but will spend it with medicare providers? >> the government spends money in many different ways. the federal government looks at who is the most effective
provider of health-care services. we provide services to 3 million folks every single year. these are people who could go anywhere today. they're not forced to go to planned parenthood. they choose as because it is a trusted provider and in many cases, it may be the only provider in their community. 72% of our health care are in underserved communities or in rural areas of america where women's health care is hard to come by. we spent the last two years in america trying to address the lack of health care access america. what the house has done is it said we're not only not going to address the lack of health care, we'll take oil largest family planning provider in america. if you look at what will happen under the affordable care act millions more folks will be insured and have access now to getting basic preventive care.
this is a time where we should focus on making sure we should expend the supply in this country. there will be a lot of demand for basic family planning and cancer screening. i don't think it is the agenda of the american people to eliminate services that women are already getting. they are getting it in a very cost-effective way. >> it seems that the problem is because you are a provider of abortion services, how do you make the argument to lawmakers to divorce her abortion services with the other services you provide? are there any thoughts about trying to move away from those services so you don't have this kind of controversy? >> an important fact is that 97% of the services that we provide
for a planned parenthood that we have listed, family planning, basic cancer screening, prenatal care 97% of our services are preventive and 3% of our services are abortion-care related. it is important that women have access to legal and safe abortions. the other thing that is important is that through the hyde amendment no federal funds whether it is planned parenthood or your local hospital who operates like we do, federal funds to not go to pay for abortion services. the regulations on this are very strict and have been. folks know that and we are reimbursed for services provided. for every pap smear or breast exam or birth control visit and we appreciate that kind of
scrutiny. it is important that the taxpayers in this country get what they pay for and get good services. i point that is why we are seeing such an outpouring in this country of support. one in five women in this country has been to planned parenthood at some point in their lifetime. we are hearing from them all across america women who had their first breast exam and found out early they had a lump and were able to get referred and get treatment, women who had their first birth control at planned parenthood and the main not have had health care insurance, may be their job did not pay them enough to get care elsewhere. we are very proud of that. we take the health care of women in this country very seriously. >> i want to delve into the political side of this. there are keep protesters republicans on the hill in the senate. in the house, you have a large collection of anti-abortion or
protests like republicans who view planned parenthood as a political organization as well that is aligned with the democratic party. if you try to make the argument which you made eloquently to us about all the services you provide, how do you square that with the politics are involved in? you have support for protest choice democratic candidates. if republicans or others of vote against funding for planned parenthood, you still -- will there be repercussions in the 2012 elections as do you support? if scott brown sticks with you guys on defending funding for planned parenthood, does that mean you don't get involved with his eventual democratic opponent? how'd you make the sale and how you will you be involved in the next election? >> through our action fund, we
advocate for health care for women with everyone, with democrats, independents republicans. i believe myself that support for family-planning. support for government not getting into the private medical decisions of women is not a partisan issue. the irony of all this is that so many planned parenthood's were started by republicans. the goldwater family in arizona is one. there was a day in which women's health care was not considered a political issue. unfortunately, times have changed. i think we are seeing help -- women's health care used as a political issue. >> you have a part in that. planned parenthood takes a political position. >> we do on behalf of women. we are not aligned with tea party. we support anyone who supports women's health care access.
we are seeing this played out in this congress. the decisions that congress makes or that state legislatures make on women's health care access have an enormous effect on women's lives. it would be irresponsible of us not to be involved in advocating for both policies and for people to support women's health care. i am very heartened by the positions of some of the newer members of the senate and some of the tried and true supporters of health care in the united states. they recognize that this is not a partisan issue. i look forward to the day in which we can take the politics out of women's health care and get back to the work that the american people want to see. >> you have a background in politics. your deputy chief of staff for democratic leader nancy pelosi? >> i was. >> i'm curious about your mother's role and her influence
over you in politics? what did those two women teach you about politics? >> my mom was governor of texas for four years. after that, she stayed involved in women's issues. she felt very strongly about women stand up for themselves. she advocated for women. i think she was as interested in it -- as i am as to how we erase this political and partisan divide over what is basically women's health issues. these are family issues. we have a long way to go but i think there is an opportunity to do that. i was on the hill briefly. i had a tremendous time working with the future speaker of the house and now democratic leader.
>> that sounded like john boehner. >> when i was working with her she was not the speaker yes. leader pelosi is an interesting woman, a catholic and feels strongly about her fate, a mother grandmother has a very strong family but also believes very strongly in women's health care access and the basic rights of women. i learned a lot from her. at that time. >> cecile richards, president of the planned parenthood of america, thank you for being here. we appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> we're back with our reporters. let me begin with you david. we focused a lot of the politics of this. explain a little bit more about why there is all this -- why there are politics involve